16 January, 2016

My Last Day as a Surgeon - The New Yorker

My Last Day as a Surgeon - The New Yorker: "I was neither angry nor scared. It simply was. It was a fact about the world, like the distance from the sun to the Earth. I drove home and told [my wife,] Lucy. It was a Thursday night, and we wouldn’t see [my oncologist] Emma again until Monday, but Lucy and I sat down in the living room, with our laptops, and mapped out the next steps: biopsies, tests, chemotherapy. The treatments this time around would be tougher to endure, the possibility of a long life more remote. T. S. Eliot once wrote, “But at my back in a cold blast I hear / the rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.” Neurosurgery would be impossible for a couple of weeks, perhaps months, perhaps forever. But we decided that all of that could wait to be real until Monday. Today was Thursday, and I’d already made tomorrow’s O.R. assignments; I planned on having one last day as a resident.


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